The bell underwater (Gene Ritter via NYTimes)
Visitors to Coney Island this weekend will once again be able to visit Dreamland amusement park. A representative for Thor Equities, Dreamland's landlord, says the park will reopen tonight. Thor shuttered the amusement park two weeks ago, saying the owners had not paid rent for several months. The park's owner challenged the eviction in court. According to Thor Equities, the deal was brokered by City Councilman Domenic Recchia. The city is working with Thor's owner, Joe Sitt, to purchase most of the land he owns to make way for a massive redevelopment plan approved by the City Council in July.Visitors to Coney Island this weekend can also take in a plehthora of burlesque, rockabilly and sideshow acts (poster below).
Meanwhile, officials announced yesterday that a relic of Coney Island's golden era that had been recovered from the ocean floor after nearly a century will be on display this weekend. The 500-pound brass bell tumbled into the Atlantic during a fire at Dreamland Park in 1911. The bell, which was discovered in 25 feet of water by a diver nearly a year ago, was pulled from the water this week.
The bell used to ring to announce the arrivals and departures of steamboats from the pier.The Coney Island staff plans to display the bell at the Coney Island History Project free exhibition center this Labor Day weekend. The 1911 fire burned for 18 hours, completely destroying Dreamland Park. [NY1]